Destination NL

Research and Education

The Netherlands has, in recent years, become a hugely popular study and research destination. With many English-taught study programmes, a high quality level of education and scholarship opportunities for selected students, it is no wonder that the Dutch higher education sector is popular among international students. Are you looking for more information about how education systems work in the Netherlands? Or how you might find research opportunities? Then continue reading and you will find all the relevant links to help you along your way.

Education in the Netherlands

The Dutch education system features many different types of schools, each offering a curriculum geared to the pupils' needs. Secondary education paves the way for vocational or higher education. The higher education system aims to provide top-quality teaching and training at professional or academic level.

Children in the Netherlands enjoy 8 years of primary education and 4, 5 or 6 years of secondary education (depending on the type of school). After secondary school, they can go on to vocational education or higher education.
There are both public and private institutions at all levels of the education system; the private institutions are mostly based on religious or ideological principles.


Higher education is divided into two types: higher professional education (HBO), provided by HBO institutions (known locally as hogescholen), and university education (WO), provided by universities. 

Higher education in the Netherlands is popular among foreign students due to its wide offer of English-taught study programmes and excellent price-quality ratio. To find out more about studying in the Netherlands visit 


Higher Education

Vocational education

Secondary education

Primary Education

Research in the Netherlands

The Netherlands aims to maintain and grow its status as an innovative knowledge economy. To achieve this, carrying out research and stimulating innovation is vital. The Dutch government spends more than €4.5 billion on science every year. Dutch scientific research ranks among the best in the world and the government is taking measures to maintain this status. The government also aims at encouraging scientific research to address the challenges facing society and industry.

About 25% of research takes place at universities, about 15% at research institutes and most -about 60%- within commercial enterprises. If you are aiming for a career in research and technology, the Netherlands can offer a wide array of opportunities. Browse the links below to find out more about doing research and the research landscape in the Netherlands.